IDF fires first ‘warning shot’ at arson terrorists in Gaza

Israeli aircraft launched a preemptive strike against Palestinians preparing airborne terror devices, which have sparked around 20 fires over the past two days.

By: World Israel News Staff

Israeli aircraft on Saturday launched an attack on Gazans preparing incendiary balloons as part of the Hamas-led March of Return protests along the border with Israel.

Since March, Palestinians have sent kites and balloons with flaming materials into Israeli territory, setting hundreds of blazes that have destroyed Israeli fields and nature reserves to the tune of around NIS 5 million.

According to Israel Radio, one of the kites on Saturday carried an explosive device, which sappers detonated. The police subsequently issued a warning to the Israeli public not to approach downed kites or balloons.

“We view the use of incendiary balloons and kites very seriously and will continue to act to prevent their use,” announced the army after the “warning shot” was launched.

No injuries were reported as a result of the strike, which occurred near the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

Throughout Saturday, kites sailed from Gaza set fires in southern Israel, causing damage near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha and the city of Sderot.

The blazes forced police to temporarily shut down Route 34 to traffic between Sderot and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, while firefighters battled the flames.

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Since the end of March, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have used hundreds of kites and helium balloons to breach Israeli territory with flammable materials. Palestinians attach long strings to the kites and balloons from which Molotov cocktails, burning fuel or, improvised explosive devices dangle.

To date close, to 4,500 acres of fields, forests and grasslands have been torched using the Palestinians’ newest terror tactic.